CS151.02 2010S Functional Problem Solving

Class 40: On Design

Back to Project Ideas. On to Analyzing Procedures.

This outline is also available in PDF.

Held: Friday, April 16, 2010

Summary: We consider some basic design principles that will inform your projects.

Related Pages:



Elements and Principles of 2 Dimensional Design

The following text is taken from notes from Prof. Kluber. Prof. Kluber notes that Text and definitions from: Launching the Imagination 3rd Edition, by Mary Stewart

Elements and Principles of Two-Dimensional Design The elements and principles of design are the building blocks from which images are made. Line, shape, texture, value and color are the basic elements of design. The principles of design are a wide range of organizational strategies such as balance; unity and variety; scale and proportion; rhythm and emphasis.

Artists and designers translate their personal insights into public communication. The ideas and emotions a professional wishes to express must engage an audience whether the encounter occurs in the silence of a museum or the chaos of a city street.

Picture plane: the two dimensional surface on which shapes are organized into a composition.

Positive space/shape: any shape distinguished from the background; also referred to as figure.

Negative space/shape: an area around a positive shape, a shape created by the absence of an object; also referred to as a ground.

Line: a connection between points, an implied connection between points, a point in motion.

Shape: a visually perceived area created either by an enclosing line or by color and value changes defining the outer edges.

Texture: the visual or tactile quality of a surface within a composition.

Value: the relative lightness or darkness of a surface.

Color: see previous handout.

Balance: the distribution of weight or emphasis among visual elements within a composition. Balance involves - visual weight, symmetry, a symmetry, and imbalance.

Unity and Variety: elements that provide compositional cohesion; the differences that give a composition visual and conceptual interest. These include – grouping, containment, repetition, proximity, continuity, closure, pattern and grid.

Scale: a size relationship between separate objects within a composition.

Proportion: the relative size of visual elements within a composition.

Rhythm: presentation of multiple units in a deliberate pattern.

Emphasis: special attention given to some aspect of a composition to increase its prominence.

Back to Project Ideas. On to Analyzing Procedures.

Disclaimer: I usually create these pages on the fly, which means that I rarely proofread them and they may contain bad grammar and incorrect details. It also means that I tend to update them regularly (see the history for more details). Feel free to contact me with any suggestions for changes.

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Samuel A. Rebelsky, rebelsky@grinnell.edu

Copyright © 2007-10 Janet Davis, Matthew Kluber, Samuel A. Rebelsky, and Jerod Weinman. (Selected materials copyright by John David Stone and Henry Walker and used by permission.) This material is based upon work partially supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. CCLI-0633090. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 543 Howard Street, 5th Floor, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.